Em favor dos académicos apologistas da raposa

PRINCETON – Vivemos num mundo complicado e, por isso, somos obrigados a simplificá-lo. Categorizamos as pessoas que nos rodeiam como amigos ou inimigos, classificamos os seus motivos como bons ou maus e atribuímos eventos com raízes complexas a causas simples. Estes atalhos ajudam-nos a navegar pelas complexidades da nossa existência social. Ajudam-nos a formar expectativas sobre as consequências das nossas acções e das acções dos outros, facilitando, assim, a tomada de decisão.

Porém, tendo em conta que são simplificações, estes “modelos mentais” estão necessariamente errados. Podem servir para nos orientar nos desafios diários, mas deixam de fora muitos detalhes e poderão virar-se contra nós quando nos encontrarmos perante um contexto em que as nossas categorizações e explicações pré-concebidas não se enquadrem tão bem. A expressão “choque cultural” refere-se a situações nas quais as nossas expectativas sobre o comportamento das pessoas se revelam de tal forma erradas que ficamos abalados pela experiência.

No entanto, sem estes atalhos ficaríamos perdidos ou paralisados. Não temos nem a capacidade mental, nem o entendimento para decifrar toda a teia de relações de causa e efeito na nossa existência social. Assim, os comportamentos e reacções que temos no dia-a-dia assentam em modelos mentais incompletos, e, ocasionalmente, enganosos.

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